Construction coming soon to some Dorchester roads

By Sonya

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- Dorchester County officials are excited about finally getting the opportunity to tackle some of the road projects that have been on their to-do list for several years.

The county found out Thursday afternoon the South Carolina Infrastructure Bank board approved their $19 million grant for four different projects.

They say the most important project from a safety aspect, and the most expensive with a hefty price tag of $13 million is the widening of Highway 165 -- also known as Delemar Highway. The road is heavily traveled by students and faculty at Ashley Ridge High School.

"Along Delemar Highway is a two lane farm to market road. It's very narrow and we have had a number of accidents along that road," said Larry Hargett, Dorchester County Councilman. "The high school is building in the population, so it needs better access. That part will be widened from two lanes to 5 lanes."

Two of the projects include intersection improvements and right-of-ways along Highway 78. The last project will be intersection improvement at Orangeburg and Butternut roads, which is heavily traveled by school buses in addition to parents and teachers

"Orangeburg Road and Butternut affect our bus traffic, because it's there by Pinewood Prep and also on the way to our two schools with Knightsville a little bit down the road," said Joe Pye, Superintendent of Dorchester District 2. "There are a lot of schools in that area, and it's a very, very busy intersection."

The bottom line is that these projects are going to mean safer roads and less congestion for people in Dorchester County. The timeline for the projects isn't set in stone, but county councilman Larry Hargett hopes the big project, the widening of Highway 165, will be completed by the end of 2013.

Hargett believes the other projects could be completed by the end of this year.